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A new documentary on Miles Davis’ life

Blog
A new documentary on Miles Davis’ life

29.01.2019

Text: Cem Kayıran

Following the much-debated biopic that came out in the recent years, a new documentary on Miles Davis is soon to be released. Scheduled make its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, Miles Davis: Birth of Cool is directed by the Emmy-winning director Stanley Nelson.

Nelson, who is no stranger to Sundance, also directed The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, a documentary about the Black Panthers movement and civil rights struggle, which was released in 2015. Miles Davis: Birth of Cool will be the 10th documentary from Nelson that will premiere at the Sundance Festival. The documentary will include interviews with legendary musicians such as Carlos Santana, Quincy Jones, Ron Carter and Wayne Shorter, as well as never- before-seen footage and photos from Davis’ career, which was shared by Miles Davis Estate.

Sundance’s 2019 program features many interesting music documentaries. Marianne & Leonard, a documentary on the love relationship between Leonard Cohen and Marianne Ihlen, as well as David Crosby: Remember My Name, which is about rock legend David Crosby’s 50 -year-long career, are two of the features that will premiere at Sundance this year.

Here are some of the remarkable jazz documentaries that came out in the recent years.

What Happened, Miss Simone?
2015, Liz Garbus

The Netflix documentary on American singer-songwriter and activist, ‘‘The High Priestess of Soul’’ Nina Simone’s life. What Happened, Miss Simone? includes interviews with family members and fellow musicians of the amazing Nina Simone, exploring the musician’s amazing talent and deep connection to civil rights movement.

The Jazz Ambassadors 
2018, Hugo Berkeley

In 1955, with hopes of improving its worldwide bad image, USA selected some of the talented jazz musicians from the country as cultural attaches and sent them to different corners of the world for concerts. On the other hand, these ‘selected’ musicians, which included names like Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Dizzy Gillespie, had a lot of questions regarding this ‘mission’. The Jazz Ambassadors is an unusual story on jazz, diplomacy and racism.

On the Sly: In Search of the Family Stone
2017, Michael Rubenstone

Receiving various awards from its festival run last year, On the Sly: In Search of the Family Stone, is the result of a 12-year-long work by the director Michael Rubenstone. Following the leader Sly from the band Sly & The Family Stone for 12 years, Rubenstone manages to create an intimate approach to the funk legend’s relationship to music. 

Fire Music
2018, Tom Surgal

The most recent production of the list is a documentary that explores 50-year-long journey of jazz music. Fire Music offers a valuable approach to the birth of free jazz by exploring how the sub-genre’s heroes, like Sun Ra, Charlie Parker and Ornette Coleman, broke the boundaries of traditional jazz. We have to admit we are looking forward to watch the documentary, which was premiered at the New York Film Festival a few months ago. Unfortunately there is no footage or a trailer from the documentary yet, but you can watch the director Tom Surgal’s short talk before the premiere from the video below.

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